Tide Turning Towards Compulsory Trial Registration
It is well known by the medical and scientific community that negative clinical trial results are under-reported. Because the practice of selective reporting has far-reaching consequences in terms of publication bias and even medical practice, a call for transparency with respect to the way clinical trials are performed and reported has been made. Such transparency, it is thought, will be achieved through the compulsory registration of all clinical trials in a public database.
Trial registers, be they government-, collaborative- or industry-based projects, have been in existence for at least 40 years. Although the concept is not a new one, there is currently no comprehensive system that organizes, tracks and disseminates information pertaining to ongoing clinical trials in the US.
The idea of a clinical trial registry providing both positive and negative results recently gained momentum following a legal settlement between GlaxoSmithKline(GSK) and the state of New...